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Questions & Answers
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
THE MAJOR TOXICITY OF FOSCAVIR IS RENAL IMPAIRMENT (see ADVERSE REACTIONSsection). Renal impairment is most likely to become clinically evident during the second week of induction therapy, but may occur at any time during FOSCAVIR treatment. Renal function should be monitored carefully during both induction and maintenance therapy (see PATIENT MONITORING section). Elevations in serum creatinine are usually, but not always, reversible following discontinuation or dose adjustment of FOSCAVIR. Safety and efficacy data for patients with baseline serum creatinine levels greater than 2.8 mg/dL or measured 24-hour creatinine clearances <50 mL/min are limited.
SINCE FOSCAVIR HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE RENAL IMPAIRMENT, DOSE ADJUSTMENT BASED ON SERUM CREATININE IS NECESSARY. Hydration may reduce the risk of nephrotoxicity. It is recommended that 750−1000 mL of normal saline or 5% dextrose solution should be given prior to the first infusion of FOSCAVIR to establish diuresis. With subsequent infusions, 750−1000 mL of hydration fluid should be given with 90-120 mg/kg of FOSCAVIR, and 500 mL with 40−60 mg/kg of FOSCAVIR. Hydration fluid may need to be decreased if clinically warranted.
After the first dose, the hydration fluid should be administered concurrently with each infusion of FOSCAVIR.
FOSCAVIR has been associated with changes in serum electrolytes including hypocalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypokalemia (see ADVERSE REACTIONS section). FOSCAVIR may also be associated with a dose-related decrease in ionized serum calcium which may not be reflected in total serum calcium. This effect is likely to be related to chelation of divalent metal ions such as calcium by foscarnet. Patients should be advised to report symptoms of low ionized calcium such as perioral tingling, numbness in the extremities and paresthesias. Particular caution and careful management of serum electrolytes is advised in patients with altered calcium or other electrolyte levels before treatment and especially in those with neurologic or cardiac abnormalities and those receiving other drugs known to influence minerals and electrolytes (see PATIENT MONITORING and Drug Interactions sections). Physicians should be prepared to treat these abnormalities and their sequelae such as tetany, seizures or cardiac disturbances. The rate of FOSCAVIR infusion may also affect the decrease in ionized calcium. Therefore, an infusion pump must be used for administration to prevent rapid intravenous infusion (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section). Slowing the infusion rate may decrease or prevent symptoms.
Seizures related to mineral and electrolyte abnormalities have been associated with FOSCAVIR treatment (see WARNINGSsection; Mineral and Electrolyte Abnormalities ). Several cases of seizures were associated with death. Risk factors associated with seizures included impaired baseline renal function, low total serum calcium, and underlying CNS conditions.
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FDA Safety Alerts
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FDA Labeling Changes
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FOSCAVIR is indicated for the treatment of CMV retinitis in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Combination therapy with FOSCAVIR and ganciclovir is indicated for patients who have relapsed after monotherapy with either drug. SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF FOSCAVIR HAVE NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR TREATMENT OF OTHER CMV INFECTIONS (e.g., PNEUMONITIS, GASTROENTERITIS); CONGENITAL OR NEONATAL CMV DISEASE; OR NONIMMUNOCOMPROMISED INDIVIDUALS.
FOSCAVIR is indicated for the treatment of acyclovir-resistant mucocutaneous HSV infections in immunocompromised patients. SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF FOSCAVIR HAVE NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR TREATMENT OF OTHER HSV INFECTIONS (e.g., RETINITIS, ENCEPHALITIS); CONGENITAL OR NEONATAL HSV DISEASE; OR HSV IN NONIMMUNOCOMPROMISED INDIVIDUALS.
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FOSCAVIR is the brand name for foscarnet sodium. The chemical name of foscarnet sodium is phosphonoformic acid, trisodium salt. Foscarnet sodium is a white, crystalline powder containing 6 equivalents of water of hydration with an empirical formula of Na3CO5P•6 H20 and a molecular weight of 300.1. The structural formula is:
FOSCAVIR has the potential to chelate divalent metal ions, such as calcium and magnesium, to form stable coordination compounds. FOSCAVIR INJECTION is a sterile, isotonic aqueous solution for intravenous administration only. The solution is clear and colorless. Each milliliter of FOSCAVIR contains 24 mg of foscarnet sodium hexahydrate in Water for Injection, USP. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may have been added to adjust the pH of the solution to 7.4. FOSCAVIR INJECTION contains no preservatives.